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Tanning attitudes need changing

Complimenting people on their tan could have a detrimental impact on their long-term health claims the NHS.

In their latest guidance for the NHS, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) states that more needs to be done to make people aware that a tan can indicate skin damage.

Its new draft advice on the benefits and risks of sunlight exposure says sunbathing is too often given a positive portrayal, with references to “a healthy tan” or the benefits of “escaping to the sun”.

The most recent statistics from Public Health England show that there are now nearly 124,000 hospital visits each year for surgery or other skin cancer treatments, which has risen from 87,000.

Sarah Williams, senior health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: “It's important to enjoy the sun safely, by striking the right balance between making vitamin D while not increasing the risk of skin cancer. Most people should make enough vitamin D during the UK summer through short, regular exposures to the sun, without getting sunburnt.”